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Drink Your Veggies—in Your Cocktail

Vegging out with the underappreciated vegetable-based cocktail.

Fruits are everywhere you look behind the bar—in cocktails, wines, beers, and garnishes. But why is it that we rarely see leafy greens or rich root veggies represented in our glasses? “Fruit in cocktails is more approachable to the public than vegetables,” says Patrick Murphy, general manager of Rootstalk in Breckenridge. It’s as simple as that. 

But bartenders who aren’t taking advantage of their veggies are overlooking a whole avenue of cocktail creativity. Vegetables bring savory, earthy, natural flavors and add depth. Rootstalk currently has two cheekily named veggie-inspired drinks on the menu: the Beet, Pray, Love, made with beet juice; and the Rootsy Collins, made with carrot juice. Veggies are also naturally food-friendly. “Carrots, beets, and citrus are all ingredients that are on our food menu presently. The cross-utilization of those products is important, and echoing some of those flavors in the cocktail menu creates cohesion between food and drink,” explains Murphy. 

That might lead one to wonder: Can you dial up the health quotient by mixing with veggies? Kind of, Murphy says. “Any cocktail that has fresh ingredients that are juiced or extracted in-house is going to be healthier than processed ingredients.” Cynthia Sass, a dietician and nutritionist, agrees: “Of course, cocktails shouldn’t be the primary way to consume veggies,” she told vinepair.com, “but the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds in vegetables and herbs used are beneficial—especially if veggies are used in place of traditional mixers that are high in sugar and devoid of nutrients.”

Make Rootstalk’s Beet, Pray, Love:

In a shaker, combine 1 ounce blanco tequila, ½ ounce mezcal, ½ ounce St-Germain, ½ ounce Ruby Red grapefruit juice, ½ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce beet juice, ½ ounce honey syrup, and a dash of 10 percent saline solution. Shake vigorously and strain over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com


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